This world has so much to offer us and our children. I bet everyone that reads this will agree; society is disintegrating at a pace so rapid, it’s rather frightening. There is only so much my spouse and me (as parents) can do for our children to protect them from being enveloped in all that the “world” has to offer.
However, lately, God has shown me such a truth it has almost made my knees buckle with its importance and power. I, as a mom, often cry in the closed doors of my room and remind God of the scary times we live in. Prayer after prayer I take my despair to the throne of Heaven and many times feel unfulfilled, unsatisfied and rather empty. As if I, as a parent, know what is best for my children; forgetting that my God is so much bigger than what this world can possibly tempt them with.
It was in one of my prayers that God spoke to my heart with such gentleness and so tenderly; I could have missed it, had I not been listening. In His presence though I felt small, pitiful, a sinful human who musters up the courage to come to the throne of the Holy, all-powerful and all-knowing God. Yet the feeling of chastened, undeserving and unworthy felt wrong because I am His child who was bought with a high price and in His presence, you feel worth, anew and deserving. It’s as if He said “Valentina, yes, you are correct! Humanity as a whole is rapidly crumbling morally and spiritually. Fear not though for your children are my children as well. You cannot always protect them, yet I can. You cannot always see over them, yet I can. You cannot always know what is best for their lives, yet even their hair is accounted for. You cannot fully teach them all there is to teach, yet I am the one that is the Creator of everything you see and that which is unseen. You do not know what tomorrow will bring, but I am the beginning and the end. Though at times you feel helpless and powerless; there is a huge truth you must know. There is a weapon you as a parent have that is so great! The promises of the results of this weapon are unexplainable and unmeasurable. This weapon can cast out demons, heal the sick, return a prodigal son or daughter, show guidance, give hope, provide comfort, help forgive and most importantly put a THICK barrier between your children and this world. This weapon, my daughter is Prayer and Fasting. Fasting and Prayer. Prayer, prayer and more prayer.”
Many times, as a mother, I will pray the same prayer over and over (guilty as charged). It’s so basic; it’s repetitive, so comfortable and rather usual. Lord, protect my children, may they serve You, keep them from sin, a few other lines of gratitude, Amen. It’s such a repetitive prayer that I could pray it and be thinking of something totally different while praying it. Am I saying these prayers are bad? Absolutely NOT. I just think we as parents, living in a time and age when we need to use the “weapon” God has given us with more force and vigor than ever before. How can I as a mother find “ten” minutes of time morning and evening to pray for my children, myself, my spouse, the body of Christ, my close friends and family, yet expect God to care for me and those I pray for 24/7, no breaks in between. Sounds rather silly, doesn’t it? Yet many of us are guilty of this.
Jesus, the perfect example, prayed frequently; he prayed with others, for others and frequently in solitude. If He, a perfect man, recognized the importance of prayer; then I, must undoubtedly KNOW the importance of prayer and fasting. When Jesus prayed, Scripture says His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. Can you imagine how intense that prayer was? I am sure it wasn’t because it lasted a whole five to ten minutes. He prayed with such agony because He knew what awaited Him. We know what awaits our children, what they may be tempted by, what this world has to offer; shouldn’t we be praying just as fervently and with just as much fierceness?
After this prayer, I took to my journal. I began writing down the things I felt my children needed to be interceded for on their behalf. I began reading through Scripture and seeing the personality of Christ and how I want my children to act and look. It was incredible when I began putting words on paper how much longer my prayers last. It has been many months now and amazing how my prayer life has transformed. When I pray for each of these points instead of just saying “God, help my children have forgiving hearts”, I instead pray for each of them individually and each point. During this whole process, I was amazed that the more I prayed about my children and each of these points, the more I wanted to possess them myself and my husband.
Once during our morning prayer with the kiddos while hubby was at work; I was naming each child’s name and asking God to keep them from having a proud heart. When we got up from prayer our second oldest son was like, mom, I don’t mean to offend you, but why would you pray for Abi not to have a proud heart, she is so young. It was so powerful to tell him that she will have that many more years of prayers over her life. Do I start praying for my children and God to protect them during their teen years when they hit 13? How much more powerful will it be if I am lifting those crucial teen years from when they are still young? It’s so much harder to pray when there is damage done, hands go down, doubt sets in and faith can be shaky. The things of this world will pass, I will not take a single thing with me to Heaven, but the drops of prayers over each child I strongly believe will help shape Godly characters in them. So many times we find time for so much in our lives, computers, social media, electronics, shopping, baking, cooking, parks, movies and the list will go on. Yet, when it comes to our prayer life, it can be so embarrassing because we just don’t have the time for it – OUCH.
I went back and forth for some time praying whether to share this in a post. I kept feeling like maybe this would be just as big of a blessing to someone else as it was to our family, especially me, a mom. It can be very frightening knowing I cannot and will not always be able to have my children with me. But the truth that God constantly is over them is one that we as parents can cling to, knowing He stands on His promises. Am I trying to say my prayer life is great? Absolutely NOT. I don’t think that status is ever obtainable, one can never reach an “I pray enough now”. Do I think that everything will be exactly as I pray? I am not sure what the future holds for myself or our children. Knowing that I spent time praying over each child, I undoubtedly know it will never hurt, only help.
After I started practicing this routine, it’s remarkable how God has shown opportunities throughout the day to quickly pray, and especially prayers of gratitude and worship. Praying doesn’t have to be sitting or kneeling, it’s my conversation with God; it’s me pouring my heart out to Him and it can happen anywhere.
Here are a ideas:
- When cooking or baking– Great place to constantly thank God for the products we have so we can put food on the table. For our kitchen, appliances, and the roof over our head.
- When cleaning or vacuuming– Great time to thank God for our hands than can clean, feet that can walk, fresh air that comes in when opening the windows.
- When waiting in line at the grocery store– Great time to pray for the cash register, or the family of five behind me, or thanking God I have funds to pay for what I will be purchasing.
- When sitting at a traffic light and our patience is tested– Great time to thank God we have vehicles that get us from point A to point B, and that we have traffic lights that help keep traffic a smooth flow. For that police man that you pass.
- When in line at the bank drive-through– Great time to thank God I have money to withdraw or deposit; that my husband has a job and can support our family (that line goes so much quicker).
- When folding endless laundry– Great time to thank God that I have a family to care, to love and be loved by.
- When ironing– Such an awesome time to put on some praise music and sing along (even if you think you cannot sing, the iron won’t know any better)!
- And the list goes on.
When I decide to seek God, He will provide those opportunities to talk to Him, whether it be on my knees, in the car, silently in the check-out line, or when I put aside the more important “things to do” and seek Him in solitude or with my spouse and/or children.
I’ve compiled a list of 52 vital prayers for myself, my husband and my children! Each week we pray over a new need. Obviously, the list is a skeleton and a starting point for each point. You let the Holy Spirit lead you into a more precise and detailed prayer.
You can pray for all of these alone, with your husband or as a family.
I prayed through these alone for years and now we pray for these as a family. Each week the kids already know we get a new topic and we pray and bless each family member all week long. It truly is so beautiful.
We printed the list and have it hanging for all to see as a continuous reminder.
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NOTE: This is an older post I am bumping up to the top. It was so hard to continuously send out e-mails so we are offering the spreadsheet for you to purchase and download.
What has the Lord been teaching you about prayer lately? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.
Lastly, if any of you for the slightest second read this and said she’s trying to say she can pray. Please read the post again. This isn’t to show how amazing my prayer life is (because it’s NOT). Nor does it mean it’s always where it should be. This post isn’t about “ME”. It’s just me sharing how God has revealed the IMPORTANCE of a prayer.